Updated: Jul 25, 2014 09:18 am Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Friday, Jul 25, 2014


BioWare Teases Gamescom Shadow Realms Reveal

YOUVE-BEEN-CHOSEN.COM is a new website from EA and BioWare teasing an upcoming project with a "Nightmare" teaser trailer that carries a caption suggesting we'll hear more about this at next month's Gamescom: "The time is near. They are watching. Your power is rising. Cologne, Germany. You’ve Been Chosen." In the meantime, they are accepting signups from those who want to keep up with this. CVG notes that BioWare's email about this to fans used an image titled "ShadowRealms_Teaser_video.jpg," and that BioWare recently trademarked Shadow Realms, which seems to confirm this project's title. Continue here to read the full story.

Screencheat Embraces Screencheating

Surprise Attack Games announces Screencheat, a first-person shooter where players are invisible, requiring they cheat by peaking at each others' screens, normally an act of war in local multiplayer games. The plan is to launch beta testing on August 4th and to release the game for Windows, Linux, and OS X later this year. This trailer takes a peek at how players can take a peek at their opponents' locations via a split screen view, which shows how this works online. Here's word on the game, which includes details on how to take part in the beta:

Wannabe screen cheaters can try out Screencheat for themselves from the 4th of August, when the game enters into beta. Surprise Attack Games and Samurai Punk understand that very few people will actually admit to cheating (it took Lance Armstrong over a decade), so in order to distribute codes discreetly, a semi-anonymous registration form has been developed on the official Screencheat website. We’ll need to grab your email address so we can send you the redeemable code, but we promise not to publically name and shame you as a cheater!

In the Screencheat arena, fast reaction times aren’t enough to keep you alive. When all your enemies are invisible, players will have to master the art of taking a not-so sneaky look at their opponent’s screens and working out where they are based on uniquely coloured areas of the map and distinctive landmarks.

Continue here to read the full story.

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion – New Frontiers Edition

Kalypso Media announces the release of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion – New Frontiers Edition, a retail boxed edition of the sci-fi 4X/RTS game for EMEA territories that includes the Forbidden Worlds DLC, a poster, and the game's soundtrack. They offer a trailer showing this off, and here's word on all that's included:

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion – New Frontiers Edition combines the tactics of real-time strategy with the depth of the 4X genre (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate). Create a galactic empire, master culture and trade, prove diplomatic skills, explore new technologies and command powerful space fleets to conquer your enemies. The retail version also contains exclusive items: including a poster and digital soundtrack.

Features of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion – New Frontiers

  • Six Factions: Decide whether to play as a Loyalist or Rebel – each faction unlocks new technologies, ships and play styles for each race.
  • More Planets: Colonize and exploit four new planet types (Barren, Ferrous, Greenhouse, Oceanic), each created with beautiful high-res textures.
  • Planet Specialization System: Dedicate your worlds to either social or industrial output.
  • New Titan and Corvette Class Warships: Mighty Titans and small versatile corvettes enter the fray of the war to tip the scales of power.
  • Updated Capital Ships: All existing capital ships have been updated with four new ability levels.
  • Additional Planet Bonuses: Discover more than 40 new planet bonuses during your exploration of the galaxy, unlocking the dark past of the Sins’ universe.
  • Great Visuals: Updated graphics, particle effects, lighting and shadows, race specific UI and other enhancements make the Sins universe look better than ever.
  • Various Victory Conditions: Take multiple paths to victory including Military, Diplomacy, Research, Last Flagship Standing, Last Capital Standing and Occupation.
  • Tutorials: New and updated tutorials make it easy for both experienced and new players to quickly start building their own solar empire.
  • Extra content: In box poster and digital soundtrack included.

Continue here to read the full story.

Far Cry 4 Diary and Everest Contest

UbiBlog offers a Far Cry 4 Vice Developer Diary, part one in a three-part series with a look at how visiting Nepal altered the feel of how the area is depicted in the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. For those interested in verifying this first-hand, they are also running a Quest For Everest Contest where the prize is a trek to Mount Everest. This requires being a U.S. citizen 21 or over with a certain disregard for your safety, as they note: "There is inherent risk of death and significant injury to persons and property associated with the Quest for Everest experience and by participating, winner understands and assumes this risk." Continue here to read the full story.

Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms Video Diary

Publisher bitComposer offers a new video developer diary from Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms with more on Games Farm's upcoming action/RPG sequel. Here's word on the clip, which includes a cameo travelogue: "The second part of the developer diary contains an interview with Chris Bateman, author of the Heretic Kingdoms universe. In the second travelogue, Tom Baker, former Doctor Who actor, presents another region from Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms: the Broken Spear Pass." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Ant.

Out of the Blue

I get to visit my little pals again this weekend, as I have once again been called upon to tend the neighbors' gecko and guinea pig. I'm still strongly considering getting a lizard of my own somewhere along the way, but in the meantime I'll enjoy visiting the little critters.

Crawly Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Quebrix.
Raze III.
Link: 4 Miserable Experiences You Can't Avoid at Comic-Con.
Science: Outlook grim for orbiting Russian zero-G sex geckos.
Images: Affleck's Batman Cape & Cowl At SDCC.
Media: Manhattan First Look Scene: Computers.
Talk by Pedigree. Excellent dog name.
Follow-up: Parched West is using up underground water.

Established 1995. Over three-quarters of a billion visitors since 1997.

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 Announced

Cliffski's Blog officially announces Gratuitous Space Battles 2, offering these screenshots from the sequel to Positech's space strategy game. He discusses his passion for the project and the reasons he hasn't embarked on a sequel already, before providing the following preliminary details:

GSB2 is a continuation of my fantasy of making this come to life. There are various questions answered on the placeholder website here, but let me summarize. GSB2 will be bigger, bolder, better and have more cool effects than you can shake a laser gun at. It will have a truly gratuitous user-interface. it will lovingly embrace the possibilities of twin 2560 res monitors. It will have a super-cool feature I haven’t announced yet. It will be a PC-first game, pure and simple, and it will be in your hands either late 2014 or early 2015. And you can play it in London at the Eurogamer Expo in September. If you are press and looking for presskit logos etc, clicky here.

Videos to come in due course. You are going to *really* like the videos.

Ace Combat Assault Horizon Free Weekend

Steam News announces a free weekend is underway for Ace Combat Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition, coinciding with a 75% off sale on the aerial combat game. Here's the call they're putting out for pilots:

Play Ace Combat Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Ace Combat Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition at 75% off the regular price!*

Save 75% on Ace Combat Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

Developed by the Project Aces team, ACE COMBAT™ ASSAULT HORIZON intensifies the franchise, escalating combat to the next level with aircraft that are literally torn apart, spewing oil and debris across the sky. Players will engage in combat across the globe, dodging skyscrapers, and turning their enemies into fiery supersonic debris in both single player and online multiplayer. Never before has combat been so fast in-your-face.

Jagex Free Weekend

Steam News announces two Jagex games are playable for free this weekend, offering open access to both Ace of Spades: Battle Builder and Carnage Racing until 4:00 pm EST on Sunday. For those who find their boats being floated, each game is also currently on sale. Here's the deal:

Check out Ace of Spades: Battle Builder and Carnage Racing for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Ace of Spades: Battle Builder and Carnage Racing at up to 80% off the regular price!*

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install and play Ace of Spades: Battle Builder or click here to install and play Carnage Racing until Sunday at 1PM Pacific.

Ships Ahoy - Gods Will Be Watching

Steam News has word that Gods Will Be Watching is now available, offering a point-and-click adventure for Windows, Linux, and OS X that developer Deconstructeam calls "brutal." This launch trailer celebrates the news, and here's a bit more on the game: "Gods Will Be Watching is a minimalistic 'point and click thriller' centered on despair, commitment, and sacrifice as players face intriguing puzzles and tough decisions that will affect their entire crew’s wellbeing." Continue here to read the full story.

Son of Nor Early Access

Son of Nor is now available for Early Access on Steam (you can tell because he has Nor's eyes), offering a first crack at this first-person action/adventure that features telekenesis and terraforming. The news is celebrated by this trailer and the 10% preorder bonus this currently carries. Here's word on how this works:

Son of Nor’s dynamic game world features novel game mechanics like terraforming and telekinesis, which can be combined by the player. This unique ability to combine features allows players a new level of creativity in their actions. As players experience the world of Noshrac in Early Access, they will gain access to 14 levels of fully functional gameplay. The final launch will support various gadgets, including the Tobii eye tracker and Oculus. Multi-player (4 person) and local co-op (2 person) via split screen are also supported.

In Son of Nor, a new level of technical achievement has been reached with its sophisticated terraforming game mechanic. Developed by Mautner, a Physics graduate, the algorithm powers the simulation of sand flow and interacts with physical objects in a natural way. In this dynamic game world, one can manipulate sand, move and throw objects, tear out rocks from canyon walls and even pick up enemies to place them where they wish.

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes Patched

Stardock offers a new patch for Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes to update their fantasy-themed strategy game to version 1.7, saying this is "arguably the biggest patch" in the game's history. The patch is automatically available through Steam, where they have word that "version 1.7 improves CPU-controlled factions’ strategic acumen as well as introducing class-specific items for all five unique hero types, like Commander-only banners that boost the entire army’s capabilities." Here's more:

Among other things, patch 1.7 includes:

  • Class-specific items - Commanders lead better than ever with unique banners, mages command the elements with new staves, and more
  • Significant AI improvements - AI rivals now develop their empires more effectively, for example through upgrading their outposts
  • Balancing across the board - Unrest modifiers have been tweaked to make sprawling empires less overwhelmingly powerful, and many unit and item stats have changed
  • Revamped army-strength logic - The method used for calculating army strength has been completely reworked, making evaluating threats easier for human and AI players alike
  • Much more – see full patch notes here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/456046/

Pulstar Adds Linux Support

A Steam community announcement has word that the first update for Pulstar is now live, which adds Linux support to the arcade shoot-em-up and along with tweaks and fixes. Here's word on the patch, which is also available through The Humble Store:

  • ADDED LINUX SUPPORT (YEAH)
  • multiplayer has been tweaked, making it a lot harder than before
  • fixed the multiplayer achievement issues
  • +10 point value pick up now increases with the correct amount (corresponding with the one as told in the "how to play" screen)
  • fixed text spacing in GUI
  • added right button on the controller as an extra button to enable Pulsetime.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Wargame Red Dragon Celebrates 1M Copies with Free DLC

Eugen Systems proudly announces that Wargame Red Dragon has now sold over one million copies since the release of the real-time strategy sequel in 2012. They celebrate their millionth sale with a free DLC pack appropriately named The Millionth Mile. The name goes unexplained (a million miles is more than two roundtrips to the moon), but they do go into detail about what it includes:

Focusing on the Eastern Bloc coalition, The Millionth Mile features more than 60 new units for Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East-Germany, bringing them into the 90's and on an equal footing with Red Dragon's main nations. The entire range of units are represented in the DLC: infantry, tanks, planes, troop transports, and of course helicopters.

But The Millionth Mile also introduces a brand new kind of unit, in the form of an AShM (anti-ship missile!) truck carrier. These units, whose main function is to engage ships over long distances from the land, increase the tactical depth of the game while redefining Wargame's naval warfare!

Wargame Red Dragon players will find their game has been automatically updated with the DLC The Millionth Mile next time they launch the game. Reinforcements have arrived, the battle continues!

Trials Fusion Celebrates 1M Copies with Free DLC

In a story oddly reminiscent of the one above, Ubisoft announces that Trials Fusion has now sold more than one million units worldwide since its launch in April. This news is also being celebrated with free content, here's word on what's been added to the motorcycle racing game:

Since launch, RedLynx has continuously added new content to Trials Fusion and today a new title update is available. Included in this update are improvements to Tournaments, Track Central and the Track Editor, as well as the ability for track builders to create custom Supercross tracks for Local Multiplayer mode. Track builders can now throw down four lanes of motorcross madness in the editor and then challenge friends for the fastest time.

To celebrate the fixes and new updates, an extra-large selection of some of the best custom tracks created by the Trials community is now available. 15 incredible custom creations from players are accessible on all platforms through the Uplay Recommended feed in Track Central.

Titanfall Update to Add Marketplace, Not Microtransactions

The Titanfall website has details on a new update coming to the mech shooter to add a Black Market to sell in-game items such as packs of random Burn Cards and Titan Insignias. Respawn tortures gamers with a lengthy explanation of the plan before adding a note that this is all based on in-game currency, and does not mean they are adding microtransactions. "With the introduction of an in-game currency, some may worry that the next step is that we will let players spend real-world money to get an edge in the game," explains designer David Shaver. "We have stated several times that Titanfall will not have micro-transactions. Fear not, for we plan to keep that promise - NO MICROTRANSACTIONS! The only way to get Credits is by playing the game!" There's no word at this time when this update will go live.

Unreal Engine 4 Livestream Today

Unreal Engine website has details on the release of a Matinee Fight Scene cinematic demo that's now available for Unreal Engine 4 subscribers, offering a PC version of a scene from Epic's Rivalry demo for Android L. Word is: "For developers, this means you can now download all of that PC content for free from Marketplace if you’re an active UE4 subscriber. You can examine how the characters are created, take the cinematic apart and re-edit it, adjust the pace of the action, shoot it with your own cameras, the list goes on! Basically, you’re free to dissect everything here and just have fun with it." This will all be discussed further during a Twitch livestream that will get underway at 2:00 pm EDT today.

2K's BioShock Tease?

2K United Kingdom tweets an image of a poster for Eve's Garden from BioShock, unashamedly teasing us with the following caption: "Oooo, what COULD this mean?!" The folks at Videogamer.com decided to ask them just that, but they report that 2K declined to honor their request for further comment.

GOG.com Linux Support Launches

GOG.com announces their promised Linux support is now live, and that their DRM-free marketplace now boasts over 50 titles to support the open source operating system, noting that some of these are debuts of titles not previously available for Linux, including FlatOut, Flatout 2, Darklands, and Realms of the Haunting. They originally planned to launch later this year with 100+ launch titles, but things were going so smoothly, they pushed up the schedule. Here's why:

We've put much time and effort into this project and now we've found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by, and absolutely no reason to wait until October or November. We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. It's not about them, after all, it's about you. So, one of the most popular site feature requests on our community wishlist is granted today: Linux support has officially arrived on GOG.com!

Trine Enchanted Edition

Frozenbyte is now offering the Windows edition of Trine Enchanted Edition, an updated version of Trine using the Trine 2 engine that's being offered for free to owners of the original edition of the platformer, adding new features including online multiplayer and mid-level saves. This is already available on Steam (80% off) and should appear at some point today on GOG.com and The Humble Store, and the OS X and Linux editions are to follow "shortly" (they also say Wii U and PS4 editions are due later this year). The Frozenbyte website has more on the Enhanced Edition along with a trailer showing it off. Here's word:

Trine Enchanted Edition is a beautiful fantasy action platformer with a fairytale-like atmosphere, following the journey of three heroes – a Wizard, a Knight and a Thief – in a quest to save the kingdom from evil. The gameplay is based on fully interactive physics – each character's different abilities and tactics can be used to invent new ways to battle an army of undead and overcome obstacles, and restore the balance of the world.

Continue here to read the full story.

Tropico 5 Gets Cheesy DLC

Kalypso Media announces the release of new The Big Cheese DLC for Tropico 5 as well as a new patch to update the island dictator sequel to version 1.04. Among other things, the new patch adds the ability to save and resume multiplayer games (a feature which is still in beta) along with bug fixes and other changes. The full change list is available here. As for the DLC, it adds a new Creamery building and a scenario involving the launch of an artisan cheese brand. The DLC is available through the Kalypso Launcher and Steam, and they note that this is free for those who preordered the game through Steam as a bonus. Here's more on the DLC:

Do you know El Presidente’s only weakness? His penchant for a good, ripe cheese of course! While his exclusively imported French speciality cheese may bring some short lived satisfaction, El Presidente wants more! So he’s decided to open his very own artisan cheese factory in the first DLC pack for the hugely popular Tropico 5. ‘The Big Cheese’ DLC, available today, challenges players to create and promote an artisan cheese brand by introducing a new production chain with the Creamery: a new building that enables you to make the most of Tropico’s local goats and llamas. Face international competition in an epic quest to create the best cheese in the world and put on the chef’s hat! This add-on includes an all-new sandbox map and task, a standalone scenario including additional voiceovers, building, avatar accessory and music track!

Steamships Ahoy - Machines At War 3

Machines At War 3 is now available on Steam, and Isotope 244's real-time strategy sequel is carrying a 15% discount for this first week of release. Here's an outline of what this offers:

In 21 real time strategy missions you'll race across the world to find out who, or what, is responsible for the team's disappearance. You'll battle with over 130 different types of RTS units ranging from infantry and ships to giant modern mega units.

After honing your skills in the campaign, fire up a random map and experience insane 5,000 unit real time strategy battles! Choose your nation and test your mettle in online multiplayer or conquer some AI opponents offline. Many adjustable options ensure every game is unique. Want to play with only ground units? Make the victory condition the death of a specific unit? The options are limitless in this real time strategy game!

Gear Up Early Access

Doctor Entertainment announces that the beta version of their Gear Up is now available on Steam for Windows, OS X, and Linux as an Early Access release, offering a chance to get in on this multiplayer game featuring customizable tanks. They offer a new beta trailer showing off the game and how they feel it lives up to the quality expected of AAA titles. They also outline plans to tweak pricing of the premium versions of the free-to-play game upwards a couple of times before its full release, but say the game will not include microtransactions. Here's word on the game: "Become Master of vehicle customization as you adapt your tank to shifting enemies and conquer varied online arenas! Gear Up is a multiplayer game about building customized tanks and battling online opponents in deathmatch, team deathmatch and conquest. Available on Steam Early Access with full release planned for late 2014." Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Today kicks off the annual San Diego International Comic-Con. I am not in attendance, but I am writing this update while dressed as Wonder Woman. This isn't really cosplay... sometimes a guy just likes to feel pretty.

Pretty Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Zombie Riot.
Spring Ninja.
3D Flight Sim- Rings.
Link: The Best Toys Revealed At Comic-Con. Don't think I'm not getting a Batman cowl.
Story: Beetles Kill George Harrison Memorial Tree.
Science: Mysterious orbits of dwarf galaxies found all over the nearby Universe.
Finding life in space by looking for extraterrestrial pollution.
Entering Gray Area, Study Says Dogs Can Be Green With Envy. True. Thanks j.c.f.
Media: If Action Movies Were Even Remotely Real. NSFW.
Neil deGrasse Tyson - Humans Are Too Stupid For Aliens.
A Demonstration Of How Gravity Actually Works. No Bullocks.
Follow-up: Researchers identify possible glitch in Antarctic ice measurements.



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